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Statement from Jason Metrokin regarding EPA’s decision to withdraw the Proposed Determination for Bristol Bay

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2019

CONTACT
Daniel Cheyette, Vice President, Land & Natural Resources
(907) 278-3602 or dcheyette@bbnc.net

Statement from Jason Metrokin regarding EPA’s decision to withdraw the Proposed Determination for Bristol Bay

Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Metrokin released the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to withdraw the Proposed Determination for the Bristol Bay Watershed:

EPA’s decision to withdraw the Proposed Determination for the Bristol Bay Watershed is inconsistent with both science and the agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. Earlier this month, EPA and multiple other federal and state expert agencies identified numerous deficiencies and data gaps in the Army Corps’ Draft EIS for the proposed Pebble mine. It defies logic that EPA would then take a step backwards and undercut its ability to ensure these deficiencies are properly addressed and Bristol Bay is protected against risks the proposed mine poses to the region, its people and its thriving fishing economy. It is even more troubling that EPA is taking this action so soon after it made a recent commitment to the people of Bristol Bay that it had no timeline for revisiting former Administrator Scott Pruitt’s suspension of the Proposed Determination withdrawal.

A large majority of BBNC shareholders, more than 80%, are concerned about the risks Pebble poses to the region and its fisheries and are opposed to this project. BBNC will always advocate for its shareholders’ best interests and will continue to oppose this inherently dangerous proposal. One thing is certain: the people of Bristol Bay and BBNC will not stand down.

Bristol Bay’s commercial fishery is once again on pace for a record sockeye salmon harvest, but the people, the economy and a way of life that is dependent on these incredible fish are put at risk by today’s decision. We are evaluating EPA’s decision and exploring all options and next steps.

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About BBNC: Bristol Bay Native Corporation is a responsible Alaska Native investment corporation dedicated to the mission of “Enriching Our Native Way of Life.” Established through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, BBNC works to protect the land in Bristol Bay, celebrate the legacy of its people, and enhance the lives of its shareholders.